Tuesday, January 11, 2011
The other day I saw a piece in the Toronto Star called 'Rural Fashion an Oxymoron' and was compelled to read it - as a former city girl living in a small town in Southern Ontario I had to find out what if the writer's view on the fashion statements we see out here is any different from mine. It isnt. People here ooh and ahh over my LLBean jacket. I think they all look like they are camping...and not that glamourous camping I like to do at the Hilton.
More than once I laughed out loud as I read about her neighbours' clothing choices. I have also seen those pajama pants on shopping trips...it's not cute. Especially when it's someone's mom wearing them. Or their grandmother.
After chatting with Josey Vogels we found out she went to high school in the town I live in....cue the Disney music because yes, it is a small world! I cant wait to get together with her to compare notes!
Josey is known as Canada's favourite expert on sex and relationships and our answer to Carrie Bradshaw! (When I was growing up we didn't have anyone young and hip to guide the way, we had Dr Ruth and Sue Johanson - who I met once in an elevator at Pearson airport - and their combined efforts put us off sex for most of our teen years). She writes for several publications, has a radio show, hosts a tv show and has written 5 books...oh and she is available for public speaking.
Josey is kind enough to let me repost here for you...I know High Heeled Life is going to get a big kick out of it!
Josey Vogels - Special to the Star
We had just moved up north and I needed to run to the store. In the country, however, running to the store means getting in your car and driving. Had I actually run, I would have noticed my footwear — in all their dirty, beige suede, fleece-lined, rubber-soled glory. My slippers.
What to do? Turn around and drive the 10 minutes home for shoes? Not only vain, but bad for the environment. I swallowed my pride, shuffled into the store, grabbed what I needed and hustled out. Of course, no one even looked twice. After all, these were L.L. Bean slippers, practically high fashion up here. And they did have the rubber soles. That pretty much made them indoor/outdoor wear, right?
But it wasn't just my vanity and concerns for the planet that had made me hesitate before going inside. It was the potential slide down the, uh, slipper-y slope. Were flannel pyjamas far behind?
Oh, I've seen them. It's bad enough that teenage girls have decided pyjama bottoms are pants, but to see a grown woman in fleece SpongeBob PJ bottoms pushing her cart at the local grocery store is just wrong. I don't care if they're “comfortable.” I'm not.
Since moving from Toronto to a small town in central Ontario a couple of years ago, I've been mesmerized by the local, well okay, let's call it fashion. Yes, much like “pretty ugly” or “fuzzy logic,” “rural fashion” is an oxymoron.
I'm not trying to be Stacy London clicking around in my high heels and pencil skirt telling the locals What Not to Wear. But there is simply no reason for an adult man to be tucking his shirt into his sweatpants.
“What's next, a belt?” as Ellen Rakieten and Anne Coyle say in Undateable: 311 Things Guys Do That Guarantee They Won't Be Dating or Having Sex.
And I'm with Rakieten and Coyle on the “jorts,” too. These are a cross between a pair of jeans and a pair of shorts that hit the male wearer somewhere between the upper thigh and the calf and are either left frayed, or worse, hemmed. It's especially attractive when worn with a tight, tucked-in T-shirt to show off your amazing “Molson muscle.”
Then there are those amazing “dad jeans” — high-waisted, light denim and tapered. Again, usually worn with a tucked-in shirt and, just for the extra special “I'm important and must be reached at all times even though you can't get a signal in 90 per cent of the area” touch, a cellphone hooked onto your belt. Take this look from day to evening with a matching jean jacket —the Canadian tuxedo — and you're ready for a night out on the small town.
While we're on the theme of doubling up, no, that plaid shirt does not go with your plaid, flannel jacket. And, just because you like to hunt deer and moose doesn't mean you have to wear images of them on your jackets or T-shirts. I haven't even mentioned the baseball caps, the fanny packs, the socks with sandals and, of course, the mullets.
But lest you think guys are the only local fashion victims, let's not forget the lady in the SpongeBob fleece. Or all her rural counterparts in the scrunchies, the “mom jeans,” the fanny packs and, yes, the mullets.
Oh and I'm definitely with What Not to Wear's Stacy London and Clinton Kelly on the Christmas sweaters. They have to go. As do the too-tight, thin fabric leggings on the not-so-thin butts. And just because you saw Rihanna wearing them in US Weekly, Ugg boots are not high fashion. Especially when you tuck your SpongeBob PJ bottoms into them.
Don't even get me started on Crocs. Unless, you're under the age of 5, as the Facebook group devoted to these ridiculous plastic shoes puts it: “I don't care how comfortable they are. You look like a dumb-ass.”
And yes, my husband owns a pair. Don't ask.
It's not that “cidiots” (that's what they call us city folk who've moved to the country) don't make their share of fashion faux-pas (see aforementioned Croc-wearing husband), and I mean no malice, honest. I don't expect the locals to run to the Farm Co-op in designer overalls (though by the way, there's a reason there is no such thing: adult men simply shouldn't be seen in overalls), but is it too much to ask for non-elasticized pants?
I grew up in rural Ontario. I can appreciate the casual coziness of a classic plaid 1970s Sudbury (or Kenora or B.C., depending on where you're from) dinner jacket. In fact, I own three, one in every colour. But, just at the Canadian tuxedo is not really a tuxedo, it is not actually a dinner jacket. Don't wear it to dinner.
And yes, there may have been a day last winter when I looked down to see myself shovelling snow in a striped wool hat, cowboy-patterned PJ bottoms, my cozy plaid jacket and Sorrel boots.
But I didn't leave the property wearing it. And I'm watching that slippery slope like a hawk.
Josey Vogels is a freelance writer based in, well, she'd rather not say, just in case you catch her there wearing her slippers out in public.
Thanks again Josey!!!
Have a fabulous day!